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SOUTHWEST SOIL HEALTH CONSORTIUM FLYER



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Understanding the Importance of Cation Exchange Capacity

I was recently asked to provide a simplified explanation on the importance of Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) values. My Response:  CEC is the ability of a soil to hold onto plant nutrients.   The finer the particle size the higher CEC value, generally speaking. For example sand particles are course and visible to the naked eye, where as clay particles are fine and are not visible to the naked eye. So clay will have a higher CEC value than sand. It is obvious to most of us that sand cannot hold onto water or nutrients as well as a soil with a finer texture. Therefore, soils rich in Clay and Loam size particles are universally recognized as being better for farming - CEC explains this.  The numerical value for CEC represents how much nutrition can be held by a given amount of soil. For example one pound of a clay loam soil with a CEC value of 20 will hold 4 times as many nutrients as a sandy soil with a CEC value of 5. 20/4 = 5 .  It's all about math, for example Nitrogen in

Pecan Associations with Mycorrhizae

It could be true if you were in a riparian area of Texas where Pecan grow naturally that the specific species of Ecto Mycorrhizae could be air born and therefore capable of inoculating a tree.    However I’ve personally seen orchards in that region of Texas that did not have a mycorrhizal infection and suffered nutrient update inhibition.  Once we inoculated the trees with  the proper species of mycorrhizal fungi  the trees rapidly begin to benefit from the infection.    In working with a company in Mexico that has the majority market share in agriculture for the distribution of fertilizers and biomimetic materials such as mycorrhizal products, we’ve seen the same thing.    I recall a conversation with a pecan grower in Texas about 15 years ago while I was attending the Texas Organic Farming conference, where the grower noticed that trees across the road from his orchard growing in the nearby river flood plain did not show zinc nutrient inhibition.   He was curious why his trees had

Trees That Please on the IOS Nov Issue

Check out the amzing finds right on our very own back yard!